Tips From Attorney Mathew Beausoleil – Preparing for Your Social Security Disability Hearing

1. Update Your Attorney With All Your Medical Visits and Tests

Gathering your medical records can be a difficult and frustrating process.  While you have a right to them, many doctor’s offices take a long time to provide medical records.  They simply cannot keep up with the large volume of these requests while also attending to their patients.  Some facilities, such as major hospitals and large medical groups, use a third-party company to process medical records.  Several factors can often increase the time it takes to get your medical records. Obtaining these records requires persistence.

Do not wait until the last minute to tell your attorney about visits you have had with doctors or at hospitals.  Sometimes it takes over a month to obtain the records. Important evidence that could win your case may be in those records.  If they are not obtained by a certain time, the judge might not allow them to be submitted!

Remember to periodically update your attorney’s office with any new treatment, MRIs, x-rays etc .that you have had.  Those records could win your case.

2. Give Social Security All the Information They Ask For.

 

I cannot stress enough how important it is that you comply with any requests from SSA.  They are not the enemy.  But they are a bureaucracy with rules to follow.  They are very busy and understaffed.  They do not have time to chase you around for information.  If you do not follow their rules they can (and usually will) deny your claim.  

The best thing you can do is (1) fill out and return any forms that they send to you and (2) make sure you attend any doctor examinations that SSA schedules for you.

SSA will send you a few questionnaire type forms after you file your claim.  They ask important questions about your level of functioning and about your job history.  This is your chance to let SSA know why you cannot work a full time job.  Put a little effort in and complete them the best you can.  You should call your attorney’s office with any questions about these forms.

Sometimes SSA sends people to an independent doctor for an evaluation.  They are called “consultative examinations.”  They might do this for several reasons, but it typically happens if you have not seen a doctor in a while.  If SSA sends you notice to see a doctor, you better go.  Otherwise they will deny your case.  Contact you attorney with any questions.

The law requires that SSA review certain information.  If you do not give it to them, or assist them in getting it they will typically deny your claim.  It is very difficult to appeal from these types of denials.  Contact your attorney’s office If you do not understand something that SSA sent.
 
John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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